5-speed listening (Farmers' Protests - Level 5)

India sees the biggest protest in history






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A protest has taken place in India that could be the largest in human history. Tens of thousands of farmers went to India's capital city to voice concerns about new legislation. This number is nothing out of the ordinary for a protest. However, up to 250 million people from a cross-section of society joined in a 24-hour general strike. The protestors came from all walks of life to show solidarity with the farmers. The scale of the protest made the government change its tactics. It met the protesters face-to-face. Protests are usually met with a show of force from the police.

India's farmers are up in arms about of three reforms of the country's agriculture industry. They will cause great upheaval to India's farming society. Furious farmers are on the streets. They are accusing the government of selling them out for the benefit of big agri-business. They have set up protest camps around Delhi. It looks like a blockade of the city. A farmers' union said: "We will block rail tracks if our demands are not met." It said agriculture was too important to play party politics with. The agriculture minister said he was optimistic about finding a compromise.

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